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What would a Spike Jonze short film about a late-night talk-show host look like?
Viewers of CBS’ Late Show With Stephen Colbert found out on Monday night as the program debuted a special Leap Day opening, directed by the filmmaker behind Being John Malkovich and Her.
After a brief opening caption that indicated they would be doing things a bit differently for the once-every-four-years holiday, Colbert was shown waking up alone in Central Park, wearing an army green-colored winter jacket over his suit.
The host then sadly walked through the streets of New York, alone and disconnected, even sinking down onto the sidewalk at one point, where kids point and laugh at him.
But there he spots a furry friend. Specifically, Sesame Street‘s Grover, reading a newspaper, goes over to him, reaches out his hand and the two walk through New York with Colbert talking and Grover appearing to comfort him.
They get to the Ed Sullivan Theater and, despite being nervous, Colbert gets the courage to go through the door and he smiles after receiving an enthusiastic reception from the audience.
The two-and-a-half-minute intro was accompanied by a slower, twinkly version of the Late Show theme song.
When Jonze joined Colbert to talk about his role on Vice’s new TV channel Viceland, which launched Monday, the director revealed more about the Late Show intro.
They shot that on Friday, Jonze said, and while Colbert said he loved it and suggested, “Let’s do it every four years,” Jonze was thinking of a more frequent collaboration.
“I thought you were going to say every Friday,” said Jonze.
Colbert: “Oh, are you available?”
During their chat, Colbert revealed that it was quite cold when they filmed that, “so it was not hard for me to act miserable.
“Every time I shoot outside with a real director with a single camera, that sort of thing, I’m so happy that I work indoors and know where I’m going every day,” Colbert added. “Someplace where there’s heating and fresh water.”
Jonze also at one point asked Colbert to walk out in the middle of the street, in between rounds of traffic, and the host almost got run over by a school bus.
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